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I have just bought a car with R17 alloy wheels and 225/50R17 summer tyres, and I am looking for the winter tyres now. I am thinking of buying exactly the same size winter tyres and swapping them on the rims. In spring, I might change the tyres back and next winter buy new rims. Or do it already in spring. I may even end up not buying another set of rims at all, as I don't have space at home to store them, so not much saving on swapping/rebalancing. In any case, having the same size, in my opinion, gives me more flexibility and has no drawbacks.

I would like to know, if there are any disadvantages of such approach---so of using the same rims for winter and summer tyres and using relatively large and wide winter tyres (a lot of people are going for smaller winter wheels and narrow tyres---any advantages beyond price?).

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Well, changing tires on and off the same rims over and over will stretch the tires. This will lead to them eventually not sealing quite as well. I do recommend having tires mounted and balanced on their own separate rims.

As far as tire sizes, you would want wider tires in the summer (larger contact patch) and narrower ones in the winter (same weight on a smaller contact patch means more pressure put onto the pavement). You still want the same tire circumference though, as to not mess up your speedometer and odometer. You check the circumference of different tire sizes using a tire size calculator like this one.

Although I said narrower tires with the same circumference, it does not mean the tires need to be on the same rim size. :) For example, using the calculator linked to above, your 225/50-17 tires have nearly the same circumference as 205/60-16 tires.

  • About the change, scratch, balance---clear. About the size: I could install narrower 205/55-17 tyres on the same rim (again, to change the rims in spring), or go for smaller R16 wheels. Do 16 inch wheels have advantages over 17 inch ones? – texnic Dec 7 '16 at 20:21
  • 16 inch wheels are smaller, meaning you will have less metal, meaning less weight. It will provide marginally better performance, but not enough to notice. – tlhIngan Dec 7 '16 at 20:34
  • Thanks. It makes me believe I should change my current tyres (225/50R17) to narrower winter ones on the current rims (7J-ET50) and go for wider rims (7.5J-ET55) and current tyres in spring. I'll check with my dealer if that's correct and possible tomorrow. – texnic Dec 8 '16 at 18:00
  • Talked to a dealer. He recommended sticking with the same wheel size (all parameters), as recommended by the car manufacturer. Concerning the wheel width, he showed me summer and winter tyres and that the distance between tread rubber "blocks" is larger with winter tyres, thus increasing the pressure while keeping the tyre width the same. – texnic Dec 16 '16 at 16:48
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Instead of buying a second set of tyres and worrying about switching them, you could look into buying a set of Michelin crossclimate tyres. If you're in the UK they are the perfect all rounder for summer and winter driving.

Might be a little more expensive, but saves you a bit of hassle.

  • See how many upvotes my answer to this question has: mechanics.stackexchange.com/questions/49138/… ... so you may want to think carefully if this is the way to go. By the way, my summer "all season" tires are Michelin. – juhist Mar 10 '18 at 18:11
  • Winter tyres are a must have here: I am travelling to Germany now and then. Besides, I prefer good summer tyres and good winter tyres for safety, noise and fuel efficiency. So the only question is when to change and how to change. – texnic Mar 10 '18 at 22:41

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